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The Morning Roast: 7/2/17

NBA craziness and a boxing match worth talking about

6:01 PM

Every now and again the job takes me on the road, which means if it’s a weekend, I’ve got to pack up the radio equipment and get to it. This week, that meant it was two of us on the West Coast, with Mina Kimes being in Los Angeles as per usual. Needless to say, my disposition was a tad different.

Hour 1

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We started things off by breaking down what happened in the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn boxing match, which was majorly controversial. Basically, Horn had no business winning and everyone believes the fix was in because the Australian government was responsible for making this fight happen. Personally, I think there’s an argument that controversy isn’t the worst thing for boxing because it at least gets people talking, but then again, why bother if everything is fake and people are lying?

Of course, there was the NBA to discuss, with free agency beginning July 1. The Paul George trade was a huge shocker to most of us who had no idea that Oklahoma City was even considering picking up the Indiana Pacers guard. The ripple effects of that across the league are obvious, but still. Wow.

ESPN Thunder reporter Royce Young joined us to discuss the specifics, and just what that fan base is expecting going forward.

Hour 2

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ESPN Radio’s Myron Medcalf came along to break down the boxing match, and he had some pretty strong words. Quite a few people think that the fight largely sullied the reputation of the sport since the outcome seemed so patently unfair. We talked to him about whether this would affect the sport overall, and we also discussed the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight.

We got back into the NBA and the situation surrounding the New York Knicks, who are in complete free fall. After getting rid of team president Phil Jackson, their future is really in question. There are people who believe LeBron James & Company might end up at Madison Square Garden, too.

Since I told you weeks ago that the Boston Celtics were not in an easy spot regarding their offseason — despite top draft picks and cap space being oh so valuable, apparently — they missed out on Jimmy Butler, and with George in Oklahoma City, things are looking dicey regarding what general manager Danny Ainge is doing. Are they building for the future or trying to win right now? Because as constituted, they can’t do both at the same time. ESPN’s Chris Forsberg joined us to discuss their fate.

Of course, we had to do Top Five. And since the Clippers decided they wanted to put Blake Griffin’s face on a T-shirt along with Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and so many others to try to keep him in Los Angeles, we thought it’d be a good idea to name our own personal “pioneers” who we’d want to see our faces with. Mina went way off the board, and it was hilarious.

Hour 3

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The almighty Adrian Wojnarowski joined us to recap the free-agent signing period, and he was not here for the games. He’s new to ESPN from Yahoo, so it was exciting to have him on. Basically, he knows every single thing about the NBA at all times. Naturally, I asked him about where he gets his glasses from.

Then it was time for Bachelorette talk. Lee is gone, so that awful storyline is finally behind us, but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth of quite a few viewers. It does feel like things are getting back on track, but we do wonder where things will go regarding Kenny and his family. We also discussed the awkward situation surrounding Will revealing to Rachel that he normally dated white women.

Lastly, we learned quite a bit in today’s episode, because no matter what, people won’t stop sending me idiotic emails. Alas, they must be addressed. Enjoy!

All Day Podcast: 6/30/17

What is the state of black television today?

4:44 PM

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Hey, gang, I’ve been in California all week, and this episode reflects it. I’m in San Diego, and it’s beautiful out here, so we stuck with a theme of the Golden State for the show. First, I sat down with Amy Aniobi of HBO’s Insecure. She’s the TV producer and writer who’s written and been a part of all sorts of shows from network to cable to the internet.

We talked for nearly a half-hour, and she explained how she got into the TV industry, who her influences were and what she considers to be classic shows. Then, taking things a little more personally, she discussed her feelings about when she felt she really belonged in the Hollywood world. Lastly, I asked her about who among her peers she thought was doing well and what’s next on her plate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQntBFGoNXQ

In the final segment, I had to address something that happened on WWE’s Monday Night Raw. LaVar Ball made an appearance and brought his sons LaMelo and Lonzo, the No. 2 overall NBA draft pick for the Los Angeles Lakers, along too. While they did all the usual promo stuff, things went a tad awry when Melo started dropping N-bombs on a live mic. It wasn’t a great look, but let’s be real. The kid is in high school.

I gave my thoughts on why this will never be a big deal in my world and also point out that Vince McMahon, onetime CEO and owner of WWE, has done the same on the air as well. So, let’s just be real. That’s a far more egregious violation, and most people don’t even know that actually happened.

Overall, New York last week, California this week. We’ll see where next week takes us. Enjoy!

 

Daily Dose: 6/30/17

It’s not about Jay-Z being back, it’s about never leaving

9:57 AMI got to ride bikes with an X Games gold medalist Thursday, so that was superfun. I also happen to be really falling in love with the city of San Diego, but that’s a different story for another time.

There was only one way for Jay to go with this new album. He’d done the gimmicky “look at my new partnership deal” already. He’d done the luxury rap nonsense with more than one project. Listening to Shawn Carter stunt on people about how rich he was had already gotten old before he had gotten old. He had to come with some actual dad rap, as in, with the wisdom of a man with kids. He did it. He nailed it, and 4:44 is a fantastic album. Listen to him break down every song and its meaning. Deacon Hov is very much in the building.

When you got a lot going on in your life, you get sleep where you can. If you take public transportation, that can mean sleeping on the bus or the train. For me, this life started back in middle school. After I stayed up all night talking to girls on the phone, the commute across town was definitely sleep time. I’d miss my stop sometimes, but not usually. Somehow I’d trained my brain. As an adult, it served me well too. The question is, how does that actually work? And can you actually get decent sleep that way?

In India, cows are sacred. As a result, many people do not eat beef, and if a cow decides it wants to sit in the middle of a crowded street, you basically just have to deal with it, in your car. Also in India, like pretty much everywhere else in the world, women do not get the respect they deserve. And violence against women is rampant. Various gang rapes have occupied the headlines in recent years, leading to the question: Are cows treated better than women in India? One photographer is raising awareness about this with an incredible picture campaign.

Let me take a wild guess. You don’t spend a lot of time watching polo. You know, the sport where the riders wear white pants and long boots on horses and hit a small ball with a mallet? Aka, horse croquet? To call it old school is a major understatement, and as a result it’s not something that very many black people do. Never mind black women. So when Shariah Harris takes the field at the Greenwich Polo Club’s Silver Cup this weekend, she’ll be the first black woman to play that tier of the game. Good for her.

Free Food

Coffee Break: I’ve been telling you all about 3-on-3 basketball for a while. It’s fun, it’s quick and it’s not gimmicky, which is why it’s coming to the Olympics in 2020. The FIBA U18 World Cup is happening as we speak, and half the fun is a guy named Kyle Montgomery, who’s handling the broadcast. This is worth your time on a side screen.

Snack Time: The likelihood that I ever actually buy anything from Supreme is extremely low. But I’ll definitely be checking for these collaboration drops, and the latest with Louis Vuitton is super fuego.

Dessert: Yeah, this fight won’t even be close. Enjoy your holiday weekends, kiddos. Safety first.

Daily Dose: 6/29/17

Clinton Portis was this close to doing something horrible

11:52 AMI’ll be on the West Coast for the rest of this week, shooting some things for the X Games coming up next month. My body clock is a little screwy but the weather is great, so no complaints from me.

The president woke up Thursday morning and decided he was going to tweet disparaging messages about a woman’s face. That woman happens to be Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which she co-hosts with her fiancé Joe Scarborough. The man is the leader of the free world and taking shots at television hosts over who looked like what at his luxury estate. Meanwhile, Trump’s personal bodyguard, now a White House aide, is being looked at in a probe to determine whether he had any link to Russia. As my coaches used to say: Priorities, people. Priorities.

We have another entry into our newly famous file. The list of “things black folks have been telling y’all forever but you refused to listen” is now more than we can count on one hand. The latest, done by Georgetown University — you know, the one that saved itself back in the day by selling slaves — is telling us that Americans view black girls as inherently less innocent that white ones. You don’t say! Next thing I know they’ll be telling me that most people don’t like ceding right of way to black folks when walking on the street!

A decade ago Thursday, the world changed. That’s because it was the day that Steve Jobs introduced the Apple iPhone to the world. If you don’t think that was one of the most important moments of your lifetime, I don’t know what to tell you. At this stage, for me, I have no idea what my life would be like without it. I use it for my job, for my personal life and for everything in between. Listen to people laugh at this when it’s first presented. It’s wild.

Clinton Portis is about that action. Years ago, he got involved in some financial deals that ended up fleecing him and quite a few professional athletes. It involved quite a few guys from Florida, specifically. But the former NFL running back didn’t plan on taking his swindling sitting down. He was a big spender and, eventually, nearly lost it all. As a result, he was ready to kill a man who ruined him financially. Like, actually shoot with a gun and murder. Thankfully, a friend talked him out of it. What a story.

Free Food

Coffee Break: It looks like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is finally trying to make some moves in the right direction. On Wednesday, it invited 774 new members to the fray, a record-breaking number. The goal here is to make it less white and less male. Now if they can just get competent folks to hand out envelopes.

Snack Time: This remake of Jumanji looks excellent. The original was a flick that was just outside of my age interest at the time, but I’m all the way in on this remake with The Rock and Kevin Hart. Check it out.

Dessert: Hate to ruin your day, but this is one of the most terrifying things I’ve seen.

Daily Dose

Daily Dose: 6/28/17

Finally, the Chicago cops who killed Laquan McDonald are indicted

4:52 PMClinton is traveling west on assignment, so I’m filling in. And the news never stops.

Hump day is filled with NBA news. Phil Jackson! Carmelo Anthony! Chris Paul! Paul George! On Wednesday morning, five of Twitter’s top 10 terms contained the name of an NBA player, attached to breaking trade news and rumors. The news of Jackson and the New York Knicks mutually agreeing to part ways doesn’t come as a surprise, considering Jackson’s unpopular team decision-making and rocky relationship with Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony. The most surprising news on Wednesday’s radar may be the Los Angeles Clippers’ deal that will send star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets in exchange for small forward Sam Dekker, guard Patrick Beverley, guard Lou Williams and a top-three protected 2018 first-round draft pick. Along with the trade came swirling rumors that Anthony and Indiana Pacers guard/forward Paul George will soon join Paul in H-Town, if the Rockets have anything to do with it. Yep, it’s that kind of day. Refresh and you might miss the next big trade.

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A little justice, with a side of skepticism. Three years after the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, three Chicago police officers have been indicted on felony charges of conspiring to cover up details of the shooting to protect Officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke, who was charged with murder, responded to the radio call that McDonald had been breaking into cars and had a knife. After McDonald punctured the patrol car’s tire with his knife, Van Dyke shot him 16 times after the teen had fallen to the ground and was no longer a threat. The officer moved to reload his weapon and only held fire after being instructed by his partner to do so. According to the Chicago Tribune, the indictment alleged that Detective David March and Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney made false police reports, ignored contrary evidence and obstructed justice “to shield” Van Dyke from criminal investigation and prosecution. The three officers are set to be arraigned on July 10 in Chicago.

The Central Park Five receive long-overdue accolades. In 1989, life changed drastically for a group of five teens, ages 14 to 16, who went from being normal teenagers to doing hard time for a crime they didn’t commit. The teens, who were wrongfully accused of the brutal rape of a woman jogging in Central Park, served various sentences ranging from seven to 13 years before being exonerated by DNA evidence. Although the five men have since reached settlements that total nearly $45 million, the time they lost during their teen years will never be replaced. Yet, three men were determined to finish their education. On Monday, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana Jr. were invited to participate in the Bronx Preparatory High School graduation ceremony, where they sported caps and gowns while receiving honorary diplomas. The men received their GEDs and associate degrees but were denied a ceremony during their time in prison. This time around, all eyes were on them. “We are honored. We are hopeful. We are blessed. And we accept,” Salaam said.

In another world, Rachel and Kenny would have been perfect for each other

After four black guys are eliminated on ‘The Bachelorette,’ we’re left with just Eric

1:10 PMRachel, I doubted you, but you pulled through and made the right choice: Lee is gone, y’all! Bachelor Nation can now enjoy The Bachelorette (sorry, Chicago!) without feeling guilty about watching a racist dude pine after a black woman. But even with Lee out of the picture, Kenny wasn’t safe. He just couldn’t walk away from the two-on-one without some choice final words for Lee, none of which are appropriate for me to repeat here. His decision to go back irked Rachel, but Kenny eventually got the rose.

Here’s where things got really good. We all know Kenny is a devoted father, so much so he’s apparently the only cast member who is allowed to have contact with the outside world. If you’re not ugly-crying during his emotional Skype sessions with his 10-year-old daughter, McKenzie, well, you’re just not here for the right reasons. On Monday night, Clinton (who so graciously allows me to take over every now and again) wondered why Kenny stayed at all, given how he had to put up with such nonsense from Lee. Tuesday night, Kenny answered that question: “The potential impact that Rachel could have in our lives is the reason I’m still here.” He’s so devoted to his daughter.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, as after a heart-to-heart with Rachel she let him go because she knew how much of a toll being away from McKenzie was for him. And he left graciously, acknowledging how smart and insightful Rachel is. Kenny was willing to give up Rachel for his daughter, which is all we can hope and ask for. I’m not crying, you are! I hope it works out with Rachel and whoever she does pick, because if it doesn’t work out with that guy, I think she’ll regret that Kenny slipped through her grasp.

There were other, not so gracious exits. Oh, Josiah. You were never as cool as you thought you were.

Also leaving the show were Anthony and Will. Neither man had anything wrong with him per se, but they didn’t have what Rachel’s looking for. Let’s talk about Will. I won’t even get into his dating history (white girls). The more pertinent thing is the way he behaved around Rachel. He was extremely respectful, to the point of emotional and physical distance. As we’ve seen time and time again with some of the more assertive guys, Rachel isn’t looking for a guy who takes his time, and a lot of the men on the show hover somewhere between shy and respectful, depending on how you look at who you’re rooting for.

But here’s the thing: Rachel is a power bottom. She’s looking for that guy who will take charge and scoop her in for a kiss without asking first. Will wasn’t willing to step up to the plate, so Rachel sent him packing after their one-on-one. She was insulted when he told her about how passionate he was in past relationships (with white women), and she had every right to be because he wasn’t showing her any of that passion. Will doesn’t have to try so hard to elucidate passion with white women, I guarantee you. Just his big, black presence is enough for them. Rachel clearly didn’t appreciate being Will’s black girl experiment. This is, perhaps, the learning moment we’ve been waiting for.

At this point there are two clear front-runners: Bryan and Eric. From day one, Rachel has been extremely attracted to both men, but they offer very different things. Bryan is the alpha of the pack and exudes sex appeal. He’s suave, but we don’t really know that much about him, which is unusual at this point in the game. It’s looking more and more like he’s a loser in cool clothing. Eric is the sweeter of the two, and his eagerness at the prospect of a relationship makes up for the fact that he doesn’t move as fast as Bryan. Plus, he’s an open book.

There are also two dark horses:

Seriously, who are these guys and how did they get a rose when Alex didn’t?! I can’t believe they’re still here when four (4!) black guys were eliminated in one episode. I can’t wait for next week.

Clinton Yates contributed to this report.

Daily Dose: 6/27/17

Serena Williams checks John McEnroe

2:57 PMOn Monday, Mina Kimes and I filled in on #TheRightTime with Bomani Jones and we talked about quite a few things. But when it came to Serena Williams, we had to set the record straight. Some people just don’t get it.

It boggles the mind why people keep coming for Serena. It’s like no matter what she does, people just can’t stop comparing her to men, which is absurd. So, after tennis legend John McEnroe said on NPR that she’d be around the 700th-best player on the men’s tour, quite a few reactions came out of the woodwork, including her own. This male-dominated logic is so beyond old and tired. She is not a man and doesn’t play men. End of story. Then she proved exactly why nobody on earth can see her when it comes to anything. Her new Vanity Fair cover is a thing of beauty.

The effort to replace Obamacare is continuing on Capitol Hill. Even as Americans across the nation urge Republican lawmakers not to go forward with the new health care bill because, you know, people will die. They’re moving ahead anyway because politics rules the roost in Washington in every way imaginable. Nothing like doing your best to wipe out your own population through increased health care costs, just to be able to say you agreed with the president. Meanwhile, if you needed proof, the new Congressional Budget Office report has the numbers to explain.

Remember those kids who were handcuffed on the National Mall for selling water? The ones who, on an extremely hot day, were trying to fill a need and make a few bucks on the side? Well, after that image of them went viral and elected officials in D.C. started pressing the National Park Service on how this could happen, we have some good news. Someone offered them jobs after hearing of their plight. I can’t even explain how happy this result makes me, because if they were little white girls selling lemonade in that same spot, no one would have ever cared.

Speaking of D.C., the Washington Wizards are trying to make some moves. Specifically, John Wall is actively out here trying to recruit Paul George, which is a pretty awkward move considering that most people think the team’s nucleus is pretty solid as is. Finding room for the current Indiana Pacers forward is going to mean getting rid of someone in that young nucleus. And that person is … Otto Porter. Thanks, buddy! Now that PG-13 is available, Wall is throwing you directly under the bus. The NBA offseason. It’s fantastic.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We all know how President Donald Trump goes when it comes to handshakes. He’s aggressive to a fault, to the point that people have complete body defense mechanisms to avoid getting put into a terrible position. But India’s prime minister completely dominated the scene with his version of the move.

Snack Time: I know that Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league is off the ground, but the real FIBA version of that game has a great under-18 tournament kicking off on Wednesday. Here’s something to get you in the mood for that and the 2020 Olympics.

Dessert: Everything Calvin Harris touches turns to gold these days, and this new video is no different.

 

‘The Bachelorette’ is fun again, but still left a lot to be desired

Lee vs. Kenny is getting real old real quick

1:02 PMAnd we’re back!

Sorry about being missing in action with the intellectual hot takes last week, but both of us (Clinton and Tierra, if you didn’t know) were too in our feelings about the drama in Bachelor Universe to really enjoy the show. This week, on The Bachelorette at least, spirits were slightly higher and we’ve got a lot of fun stuff to discuss. But first, because we are smart people who have smart things to say about trash television, we must address the elephant in the room: Lee and Kenny.

Right off the bat, Lee, who is white, resumed his racially coded analysis of Kenny, who is black and who Lee has a real problem with, presumably because he is black. “You have an unrealistic violent aspect about you,” Lee tells Kenny, who decided to approach Lee calmly about Lee’s breach of their friendship and all-around stupidity. Whoooo, Jesus, let’s go. Five minutes in and we’re already stressed. And, spoiler alert, it doesn’t get any better with these two. By the end of the episode, the bloody, “violent” conflict the trailers have been teasing for the past week isn’t resolved — it hasn’t even begun, actually — and we have to wait until Tuesday night to figure out what actually happens on their two-on-one date with Rachel.

So, what’s the payoff for all of this going to be? What do we, Bachelor Nation, have to gain by watching this racially fueled feud between noted bigot Lee and devoted father and possible future Bachelor Kenny? It’s hard to be invested in the show as a whole when there’s this subplot that has the producers’ handprints all over it. The only thing keeping our attention this season is the potential of a huge payoff. There has to be a learning moment. Maybe Rachel will open her eyes to see Lee for what he really is (🐍) and she gives an impassioned speech about the many pitfalls black women encounter when they make themselves vulnerable to the realities of dating, and she calls out all the dudes who collectively are not worth it. Maybe. It’d be great to see such a conversation about race play out on national television.

But, who knows! Until that happens, there are other things we gotta talk about because, fam, this episode was wild. First up, this one-on-one with Jack Stone, who is entirely too weird and needed to go.

Jack looks like Joel Osteen, but perhaps more importantly, he acts like Joel Osteen.

Rachel escaped with her life but couldn’t quite escape his kiss attempt. It was such a wholesome one-on-one, but wholesome doesn’t cut it on this show. Jack went home after a forgettable date, and later on Tickle Monster (what’s that guy’s name again?) and Iggy “Wendy Williams” Rodriguez joined him. Good riddance.

After lackluster appearances all around from the guys, Bryan shines through like a beacon of hope, leaving me (Tierra) swooning on my couch and leaving my boyfriend, Juan, whom I have coerced into watching this episode with me, launching into a string of conspiracy theories about Bryan Bae, none of which I will believe.

Basically he thinks Bryan is fronting on — well, on all fronts. He doesn’t think Bryan is as suave and sexy in real life as he makes himself out to be on the show, and that Bryan is just taking this opportunity to reinvent himself. He’s probably just a huge bore in real life who knows his way around the romantic dictionary.

Personally, I think Juan is a hater, but there may be proof in the pudding:

But back to Lee and Kenny! The producers demand it! It’s clearly freezing during their two-on-one with Rachel, who is bundled to the nines, but Lee isn’t wearing a coat, or even a jacket. He has a hoodie on. This says more about him as a person than anything he’s ever said. Aren’t snakes cold-blooded? Rachel is intelligent, but she’s relying too much on house gossip to get to the bottom of the Lee-Kenny, he-said, he-said drama. Open your eyes, girl!

Unfortunately the show cut off right as it was getting good, but thank the Bachelor Universe gods that we have a two-night special. Who’s going home? It’s a toss-up at this point, which makes me concerned for Rachel’s decision-making skills (as an aside, she usually knows exactly what she wants, which is an aspirational trait). Hold on to your hats, fam.

Clinton Yates contributed to this report.